Books about Foster Care

At Foster Progress, we’re readers. And we love most of all to hear directly from alumni of the foster care system. Here’s a few books we recommend to help more folks understand what our youth go through. If you have others to recommend, contact us!

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A Chance in the world

Steve Pemberton

From the day he is five-years-old and dropped off at his foster home of the next eleven years, Stephen is mentally and physically tortured. No one in the system can help him. No one can tell him if he has a family. No one can tell him why, with obvious African-American features, he has the last name of Klakowicz.

Along the way, a single faint light comes only from a neighbor’s small acts of kindness and caring—and a box of books. From one of those books he learns that he has to fight in any way he can—for victory is in the battle. His victory is to excel in school.

Against all odds, the author succeeded. He attended college, graduated, became a successful corporate executive, and married a wonderful woman with whom he established a loving family of his own. Through it, he dug voraciously through records and files and found his history, his birth family—and the ultimate disappointment as some family members embrace him, but others reject him.

Readers won’t be the same after reading this powerful story. They will share in the hurts and despair but also in the triumph against daunting obstacles. They will share this story with their family, with their friends, with their neighbors.

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To The End of June

Chris Beam

Who are the children of foster care? What, as a country, do we owe them? Cris Beam, a foster mother herself, spent five years immersed in the world of foster care looking into these questions and tracing firsthand stories. The result is To the End of June, an unforgettable portrait that takes us deep inside the lives of foster children in their search for a stable, loving family. 

Beam shows us the intricacies of growing up in the system—the back-and-forth with agencies, the rootless shuffling between homes, the emotionally charged tug between foster and birth parents, the terrifying push out of foster care and into adulthood. Humanizing and challenging a broken system, To the End of June offers a tribute to resiliency and hope for real change. 

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A new Day One

Rodney Walker

No one can go back and make a new beginning, but anyone can
start today and make a new ending. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Rodney faced incredible hardships in the foster care system and coping with family drug problems and violence. But
through sheer determination and the support of some key mentors,
Rodney was able to reach for new heights as an entrepreneur and
a Yale University graduate.
A New Day One is Rodney’s story of triumph over adversity, filled
with valuable principles and life lessons that are sure to inspire
you into action. Whether you’re an inner-city youth or a high-networth
businessman, there’s something to be learned from Rodney’s
incredible story.